Justice Vincent D. Damiani was raised in Brooklyn and earned a B.S. degree from New York University in 1934 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1937. He was admitted to the Bar in 1938. Damiani served in the United States Army from 1941 until 1945, reaching the rank of captain. He served as law secretary to Chief Judge Albert Conway of the New York Court of Appeals for three years until 1949, when he became law secretary to Presiding Judge Robert A. Inch of the United States District Court for the Eastern District.
Damiani joined the bench in 1955, when he was appointed by Mayor Wagner to the Municipal Court, which merged with the Civil Court in 1962. He served on the Civil Court until his election to the State Supreme Court in 1964. In 1968, Damiani ruled on the prominent trial of three members of the Black Panthers for assault of police officers. In 1972, in response to Commissioner of Correction Benjamin J. Malcolm’s criticism of the judiciary, Damiani stated the cause of overcrowded jails was a “tremendous and unprecedented increase in crime” and insufficient funding for the courts and related agencies (Justice). In 1975, Gov. Hugh L. Carey designated him to the Appellate Division, Second Department. He retired from the bench in 1983.
Damiani married Caroline Scarano and had two sons, Stephen and James. He died on January 5, 1985 in Brooklyn at the age of 71.
“A Justice Answers Criticism on Jails.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 36. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Aug 25 1972. Web. 13 Sep. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/119521810?accountid=8012.
“Justice is Sworn in.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 25. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Oct 27 1955. Web. 27 Oct. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/113386605?accountid=8012.
“Vincent D. Damiani, an Ex-State Justice in Appellate Court.” New York Times (1923-Current file): D11. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Jan 07 1985. Web. 13 Sep. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/111111968?accountid=8012.